In the United States, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 20 percent of the entire population, and hearing loss occurs in 90 percent of those cases.
With such a strong relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus, you would assume that people would be much more likely to seek out treatment for one or both conditions.
But in fact we find the reverse. Among those who refuse treatment for hearing loss, 39 percent (9 million people) do so because they believe nothing can be done about their tinnitus.
That’s 9 million people that are suffering unnecessarily when a treatment is available that could both boost hearing and relieve tinnitus simultaneously.
That treatment method is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health professionals, it was found that 60 percent of patients confirmed some extent of tinnitus relief when utilizing hearing aids, while 22 percent reported significant relief.
Based on these figures, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus used hearing aids, 5.4 million would achieve some measure of relief and about 2 million would attain substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids alleviate the severity of tinnitus?
The scientific agreement is that hearing loss triggers reduced sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain experiences maladaptive neurological changes that produce the perception of sound when no exterior sound source is present.
It’s this very subjective feature that renders tinnitus so perplexing to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures typically have little to no impact. There’s simply no physical tissue to repair or chemistry to modify.
But there is a way to reach the perception of sound, a way to help the brain adjust or reverse its response to depleted sound stimulation.
With hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to standard levels of sound stimulation and at the same time provide a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For patients with hearing loss, tinnitus is more disturbing because the tinnitus is louder compared to the volume of external sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can fade into the background.
On top of that, some hearing aids can furnish sound therapy directly to the user, which can be personalized for each patient.
Hearing aids, in conjunction with sound and behavioral therapy, are right now the best tinnitus treatment options available. Many patients report some extent of relief and many patients report significant relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Arrange a consultation today!